What do you think of the audiosciencereview (www dot audiosciencereview dot com) reviews? Are they a reliable source of information? Are they relevant? Are they bullshit? Just curious to know your opinions … Thanks, nbpf
I believe them to be biased. They say something won’t work, then set out to confirm it with measurements.
There is also no way to know, if they actually know how to use the measurement devices they have.
I agree. Selective. One seldom get a complete picture of a product.
If you want measurements Stereophile online is a better source.
I agree too.
Lots of Internet sites seem to be folk trying to make a bit of money out their hobby, which is fine. I wonder how he gets products to review. If I were a hifi company would not send him a product for review. I would probably publish my own verified measurements.
I used to like Rega’s approach where no products were submitted for review and relying on dealers to demonstrate its products.
This quote from Stereophile’s Herb Reichart says it all:
In the realm of loudspeaker reviews, John Atkinson’s measurements and my empirical observations have one important equivalency: Both are meaningless abstractions until confirmed by your listening experience.
What measurements can show rather more readily than reviews based solely on listening is differences between different items of equipment, and in particular can reveal negative factors that one knows will adversely affect one’s enjoyment of music through the. E.g. as an extreme example, measurements could show no bass output below 100Hz, yet a reviewer might not regard that as significant and might not do much to draw attention to it because he or she doesn’t consider low bass to be important - yet to some particular individuals it could be an instant turn-off on hearing.
Neither measurements nor reviews based solely on listening can tell an individual whether they will indeed like the item, and given their major contribution to the character of the sound they produce this is particularly true of speakers. However in this regard, if experience of hearing multiple things reviewed by a particular reviewer indicates close similarity in taste for musical presentation, then that person’s reviews based on listening may be more likely to inform as to whether one will like it than could be achieved by measurements alone.
Personally I like reviews that include both measurements and reports on listening tests, the latter best when they include direct comparative reviews, and even better when more than one reviewer.
But when it comes to measurements, there does need to be some information about how they are conducted or otherwise something to give confidence in their validity - traditionally that has particularly applied to measurements presented by manufacturers, but nowadays also more widely with ease of internet publishing.
I have to admit that I find that the language and the style of audiosciencereview do not inspire much confidence.
On the other hand, I am basically very positive towards any honest attempt at measuring different audio devices using a standard procedure and I beleive that such attempts should be honored.
This holds true even if the measurements can only provide a very limited and narrow view of a category of products.
The other way round: I would expect serious manufacturers to provide precise measurements of their products. This is currently not the standard in the HiFi businness and thus I am grateful for any attempt at improving this very miserable state of affairs.
But how to distinguish honest measurements from fake measurements? Some of the results presented at audiosciencereview seem indeed a bit strange.
I became curious about the site after stumbling upon the measurements for the new Ethernet switch by UpTone Audio, the EtherREGEN.
According to the site, replacing the EtherREGEN with a cheap switch upfront a standard DAC, does not have any whatsoever impact on what comes out of the DAC!
If confirmed, the measurements imply that the EtherREGEN completely defeats its purpose. The funny thing is that, to the best of my knowledge, UpTone Audio has not provided any own measurements that confute those of audiosciencereview or, at least, demonstrate their irrelevance.
Isn’t that what one would expect to happen?
I do not care at all about the EtherREGEN, the last time I have used a switch was more than 10 years ago and I have no plans to reintroduce any of these little boxes in my household!
Still, I find the EtherREGEN review and a few others that I came across later on the audiosciencereview site quite disturbing. Is the EtherREGEN a serious product? Is it a snakeoil product? Should companies ignore results like those presented at audiosciencereview? Are these fake results? Should fake results (fake news) be ignored? Should they be confuted and debunked?
The typical answer of many audiophiles to this kind of questions is: “trust your ears!”
But I do not think that it is an acceptable answer. I think that the problem is deeper and deserves more attention. Finally … why should one trust one’s ears more than the ears of other people or measurements?
Yes that is a good point - that simple and oft overquoted approach assumes one is happy to like something simply because it sounds good, whereas one may actually want to know what a piece of music is supposed to sound like, as in what did the artist (=team including mastering engineer) intend you to hear.
My network has switches - but it is used for data transfer for a variety of purposes, and not for streaming music while listening, so I have nice cheap switches and cables tgat work perfectly!
I use reviews and measurements to compile a shortlist but I trust my ears to make the final choice because irrespective of anything else, I want to enjoy what I’m hearing.
I own an EtherRegen. To my ears, it does improve sound quality.
I definitely like to see objective measurements, but they need to be accurate and consistent. In the case of the Chord Mojo, the figures are not what I’ve read elsewhere. The ranking in one area that puts the Mojo in the middle has only a small difference between the top ranker and the median ranker, but a larger difference between median and bottom ranker.
Hypothetically lets say distortion for amplifier A is 0.01% and for amplifier B is 0.001%. Does this matter? B is an order of magnitude better than A, but if 0.01% is the threshold at which distortion is no longer discernible than B’s advantage is irrelevant. What would be compelling is if a sample of listeners found that A distorted more than B as this would be consistent with the measurements.
When listening tests tally with how something measures then everything makes sense. So I agree with @nbpf that we cannot rely on our ears alone. We need both measurement and our ears to make an informed decision. I would also suggest we hear complete systems, it is quite hard to decide if a component is always a winner. It is easier to decide if a complete system meets what we want for music replay.
Providing the test is done before the listeners know which has the greater measured distortion and both items are presented multiple times in differing sequence of course…
Agreed and therefore irrespective of measurements, the final arbiter will be the listeners ears…
Which distortion? Under what conditions?
The owner of ASR has some sort of vendetta against Uptone and Sonore. Been going on since the intro of the microRendu a few years ago. No idea why, other than the fact that we are living in the Denigration Age. I think the owner is loaned the gear, measures it with his dubious testing set up, but doesn’t actually listen to it and then denounces it as snake oil because his (dubious) measurements don’t tell him anything. Screw him and his sycophants trying to bring down small businesses that have been putting out cutting edge gear at decent prices without lots of sales hyperbole and lots of listening feedback from thousands of buyers. Plenty of established manufacturers they could/should take on. Use your ears and brains I say.
It was meant to be hypothetical - so it could be total harmonic distortion or intermodulation distortion. The conditions should be controlled as suggested by @Svetty.
One set of test results I saw which I found interesting were in room response graphs for a streaming system fed by J River vs Minimserver. If you subtracted one from the other you got a straight line - implying the sound quality was identical. This was repeated with different operating systems (MacOS, Windows, Linux) and with Asset - same result. So if you cannot hear the difference between different servers feeding your Naim streamer then nothing to concern over as their probably isn’t one.
I have listened to Melco, Innuos and cannot hear any difference between them and a Mac mini running Minimserver. Whereas I can clearly hear a Naim streamer sounds better than a Sonos. So if I were allocating budget I’d buy a standard music server and Naim streamer rather than Melco or Innuos and Sonos streamer. I’d be confident I’d spent wisely.
For completeness, Noel Keywood has measured Naim and Sonos streamers and the Naim has a clearly superior measured performance.
I would be happy to suggest that the Naim product produces better sound irrespective of the server feeding it. I would not be happy to suggest the server is more important than the streamer.
Hope that makes some kind of sense.
The idea is to approach the problem in different ways and if you get the same answer each time then you gain confidence in your conclusion.
This is always the problem with the Internet - can you trust what you read? I have a microRendu and it is very bit as good as my Mac mini with JRiver MC - the microRendu costs less. If I were a Roon fan then I’d use microRendu without hesitation, but I’m a fan of JRiver’s user interface.
I’m amazed anybody could call the microRendu snake oil as it does what it claims - delivers bit perfect music data from a network to a DAC.
The 1.4 board clock upgrade of the microRendu took it even further, and many have said the Ultra or Optical rendus aren’t that much better than the 1.4, so sticking with it for now. I also love the way it’s hidden around the back of the V1 (using an Uptone USPCB hard adapter). The Sonore Power supply (with an SR black fuse) also made a huge difference to the sound of the mR. It’s a great little unit and has served me well.
I am a very happy UpTone Audio customer, having used their JS-2 and LPS-1.2 to power an Allo DigiOne Signature (that, in turn, feeds my Naim DAC) since more than one year.
Both the JS-2 and the LPS-1.2 are very well built and very flexible devices and UpTone Audio offers a very generous return policy. Thus, one can buy their products at virtually no risk, particularly in the US.
On the other hand, I find it a bit discomforting that UpTone Audio have not replied to the Audiosciencereview measurements with own detailed measurements.
This could be due to the fact that available measurement techniques cannot actually explain the impact of the EthgerREGEN on downstream DACs or that, as argued by Audiosciencereview, such impact is nonexistent. In both cases, not a very inspiring state of things.
On another thread: I have looked a little bit more into the reviews on the ASR site and they seem to rank Matrix Audio products very high.
I have never seen Matrix Audio devices discussed in this forum, any first hand experience with their streamers and DACs?
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